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This article was published in the Times Record on November 13, 2020 and written by Blaine Flanders, the Community & Donor Relations Coordinator at Tedford Housing. Find the newspaper article here.
Around the Brunswick area, community members are beginning to gear up for the upcoming holidays. Shops put items on sale, donors are engaging their charities and nonprofits are busier than ever. During this holiday season, Tedford Housing staff also become busier than normal in order to accommodate the influx in community engagement, but more importantly, the increase in need as the months grow colder.
In order to combat the rising need during the colder months, Tedford Housing has decided to recognize National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week from Nov. 15-22 to raise awareness in the community for Tedford Housing and our mission. Individuals and families, now more than ever, need community support due to the pandemic and winter quickly approaching. The goal of this awareness week is to awaken the community to the growing need among our neighbors.
Throughout National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, Tedford Housing is hosting multiple pandemic-friendly events. On Nov. 16, Community Awareness Day, look for “We Support Tedford Housing” signs around the community. These signs have been staked by some of Tedford’s business supporters who are committed to our mission. Two Days of Action, on Nov. 20 and 21, will engage a few loyal volunteers in the community to rake leaves at the emergency family shelter and sort donations before the holidays.
Tedford Housing is partnering with Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program for two of the week’s events, including Advocacy Day and the Q&A Session with Executive Directors Rota Knott and Karen Parker. Advocacy Day, on Nov. 18, is a chance to make your voice heard. Anyone in the community can request and send these pre-paid postcards. The back of the postcard says, “Did you know it is National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week?”, in order to stimulate conversation and awareness to whomever the card is sent. If you would like to request postcards, please email email@example.com. The Q&A video will be available on social media on November 19th to answer all of the questions asked over the past few weeks.
Despite the warm weather that was here this week, Thanksgiving is still right around the corner. Tedford Housing is partnering with the Brunswick Rotary Club and Pathway Vineyard Church, in Brunswick and Lewiston, to gift holiday cheer among Tedford’s individual and family clients. Both the Brunswick Rotary Club and Pathway Vineyard Church have been long-term supporters of Tedford’s holiday gifting program, and have made a real impact on our clients and guests the past several years. Rotary members donate gift cards to each of Tedford’s individuals so they can purchase food for Thanksgiving, while parishioners create Thanksgiving Bags for Tedford’s families to cook their own meal.
Last month, Beci Turner, a Tedford supporter, sponsored a holiday gifting drive for Tedford’s families through Usborne Books. All of the money raised will purchase books that will be gifted to children of all ages this Christmas. The books will be distributed during the Christmas Store held in early December that is hosted by Pathway Vineyard Church in Brunswick. The Christmas Store hosts not only Tedford’s family households, but other families in the community. Tedford Housing’s families who benefit from this Christmas Store include those living at the emergency family shelter, in supportive housing, and those receiving outreach services. Pathway has always made a great impact on families throughout the community by allowing each member of the family to “shop” at the store and select items to gift other family members. Watching families who are experiencing homelessness hand-select unique gifts for their children and loved ones is a magical experience. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and The Emergency Action Network have graciously donated gifts to the Christmas Store this year. To help Tedford’s families this Christmas, please visit our website or social media for more information on holiday gifting.Advertisement
As the months get colder, many of us tend to think of the holidays, but for some members of the community this time of year brings anxious questions of, “What if I don’t have enough clothing to keep me warm tonight?” or “Where is the warmest place to sleep outside in this town?” Help us change that conversation by raising awareness in our community. Community engagement and partnerships strengthen Tedford Housing’s mission to empower people to move from homelessness to home. Tedford appreciates those who are already involved in the conversation, and we look forward to those who will join us next.–
There are several more strong connections not mentioned above that Tedford has in the community, and we appreciate everyone who currently supports our organization and our mission. For any questions about Tedford Housing’s community engagement, volunteering, or making a gift, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (207)729-1161 ext. 101.
Published in the Times Record on 10/16/2020 and written by Blaine Flanders, Tedford Housing’s Community & Donor Relations Coordinator. Find the article online here.
This year has been difficult for everyone in the community, but even more challenging for those experiencing homelessness. Not only are those experiencing homelessness battling hurdles to find permanent housing, but their regular hurdles have become mountains due to COVID-19. One of the most impactful opportunities for the community is to support local organizations that target those specific hurdles. Services like case management and homeless prevention and outreach are tailored to support, develop, and empower those experiencing homelessness in the community.
Despite every challenge that those experiencing homelessness face, the guests at Tedford Housing can now rejoice at the sight of fresh paint, new mattresses and a new, clean place for personal belongings. The Brunswick Coastal Rotary (BCR) had graciously donated grant funds and volunteers to paint and assemble new beds, mattresses and lockers for the dormitory rooms, as well as paint and assemble new furniture for the shelter’s community living room. A group of dedicated Rotarians continue to focus their time and efforts to address housing issues locally and around the world. This project falls directly in-line with their realm of interest and support for community programs. Jim Pierce, president of the Brunswick Coastal Rotary, was enthusiastic about Rotarians focusing their efforts on a local organization that assists people experiencing homelessness and those that are on the brink of homelessness.
Rota Knott, executive director of Tedford Housing, noted, “We appreciate the long-standing relationship with and support of the Brunswick Coastal Rotary for Tedford Housing’s mission. We were very excited to work with the club members to renovate the guest rooms and community room at the Adult Shelter. They really went the extra mile to help us ensure that our guests have a not just safe and secure emergency housing, but also a comfortable place to rest while they are engaged in our shelter program. Community partnerships like this one with the Brunswick Coastal Rotary are integral to Tedford’s work.”
For five days, Rotarians cleaned, patched, painted, constructed new beds, unrolled mattresses and moved lockers into the freshly made dormitories and community room. Over the weekend, a few Bowdoin students and several members of Topsham Boy Scout Troop 202 volunteered with Rotarians to kick-start the shelter renovations. Tedford Housing Director of Programs Giff Jamison said, “The care and hard work they put into painting and freshening up the adult shelter makes it a cheerier and nicer place for our guests to [live] as they work towards securing more permanent housing. It also sends a strong message to our guests that many people in [the] community understand that they have just as much right to clean and fresh surroundings, even in a temporary shelter, as do people who will never directly experience the hardship of not having a place to call home.”
The adult shelter renovations will remain a highlight of the year for Tedford Housing’s guests, and will still be appreciated by all of Tedford’s future guests for years to come. It is undoubtedly the support of the community that enabled this project to be completed. Tedford Housing recognizes the dutiful support of the Brunswick Coastal Rotary, and is grateful to have the ability to provide a fresh, clean environment for their guests, during a pandemic nonetheless.
For more information on the shelter renovations, please visit Tedford Housing’s Facebook or Instagram @TedfordHousing, or visit our website at www.tedfordhousing.org.–
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